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High schoolers vie in competition

Five individuals and three teams of high school students will compete in the New England segment of the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, a scholarship and awards program hosted by MIT.

Created last year by the nonprofit Siemens Foundation, the competition promotes and advances US science and mathematics education.The competition is open to students who develop independent research projects in the physical or biological sciences or mathematics.

Six regional competitions at universities around the country will be held this month. Regional winners will compete in Washington, DC on December 9-11 for a top individual scholarship prize of $100,000. Separately, members of the top team will share a $100,000 scholarship. Five individual and five team runners-up on the national level will each be awarded $20,000 scholarships, with teams dividing their awards.

MIT faculty members who will judge the event are Vernon Ingram, the John and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Biochemistry; Leslie C. Perelman, director of Writing Across the Curriculum in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies; Professor Leigh Royden and Assistant Professor Julian P. Sachs of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences; and David A. Vogan, department head and professor of mathematics. Ronald M. Latanision, professor of materials science and engineering and nuclear engineering, coordinated the event at MIT for the second year.

"Promoting science, mathematics and technological excellence throughout all of our educational systems is of critical importance to our society," said President Charles Vest. "The Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition is an excellent means of accomplishing that. We are particularly pleased to host the competition's regional events at our campus for the second year in a row, as Siemens Corp. has been a strong partner with us on many efforts to develop the enormous talent and creativity of the future scientists and engineers of the 21st century."

The New England states regional finalists -- whose entries span mathematics, biology, environmental science, physics, computer science and chemistry -- will present their independent research projects to the MIT judges on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 8am-12:30pm in Rm 6-120. Their posters will be available for public viewing from 9am-3pm in Killian Hall (Rm 14W-111).

At an awards dinner that evening, the individual regional winner will receive $3,000 and members of the winning regional team will share another $3,000 prize. Each regional runner-up will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, with the team runners-up dividing the prize among team members. All prize money will be applied toward the winning students' undergraduate or graduate education.

The Siemens Foundation provides scholarships for students who are gifted in the sciences, mathematics and technology-related disciplines. For a list of New England states finalists and more information about the Siemens Foundation and the Siemens Westinghouse Science & Technology Competition, see

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 8, 2000.

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